The Beginner's Guide to "Awesome"

Did you know that "Awesome" is in the eye of the beholder? What is "Awesome" to me, might be mediocre to the next guy. That's why I don't care what the next guy, or next woman, or chart says about my weight.

You didn't see that coming, did you? That's right, I do NOT care how much I weigh. Your weight on a scale tells you very little about your fitness, or your body composition (fat vs. muscle). In fact, since muscle weighs more than fat, as you start losing body fat and gaining lean muscle, you could actually see your scale weight go up. Remember this, because you could be on the road to "Awesome" and then get hung up on what the scale says, and get completely derailed from the road!

So how do you know if you're heading in the right direction towards your personal Awesome? Here are just a few of the things you should really be paying attention to...

1. How do your clothes fit? If slowly but surely, your jeans are fitting better around the waist and hips, than you're heading in the right direction. If you're trying to gain weight and gain muscle, you might notice that your shirts fit a little tighter around the arms as you build biceps and triceps muscles. Pay attention to these things!

2. How do you look and feel in your swim suit or underwear? Do not judge yourself against the latest photos in some glossy celebrity magazine. Do NOT go there! To monitor changes in your own body, take a "before" photo when you start your fitness program. Let it all hang out. No sucking in of the belly and no fancy lighting. Every 6 to 8 weeks, retake the same photo. Now compare. Sometimes our bodies go through remarkable transformations, but we don't notice it on a daily or even weekly basis. Transformation takes time, and we're the last ones to notice it on ourselves. 

3. What is your blood pressure? Have your doctor check your blood pressure. If you are substantially overweight and have been sedentary, you may have high blood pressure. As you progress in your new healthy lifestyle, most likely, your blood pressure will drop to a much healthier level.

4. How is your athletic performance? If you're an athlete, you will notice improved athletic performance...faster speeds, faster recovery, increased strength, etc.. 

5. How does it feel to do your daily tasks and chores? Notice how you feel when you walk up stairs. If you used to get out of breath walking up 2 flights of stairs, and now you easily bound up them, then you are heading towards Awesome.

For some people, periodically weighing themselves does help them keep on track. If that applies to you, then by all means use the scale as a tool to check in on yourself. Otherwise, consider donating it to charity or re-gifting it to your grandma!